2020 Grants Challenge

Bikes for the People

With this grant, we would like to partner with organizations that provide services to underserved or underprivileged individuals, identifying those who lack access to transportation. We will provide participants with bicycles and teach them how to properly maintain them. We will then provide safe riding classes using Bicycle Kitchen staff, volunteers, and licensed instructors to help participants gain confidence and knowledge while successfully riding on the streets of Los Angeles.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

People for Mobility Justice


Cahuenga Branch Library (Los Angeles Public Library)

Los Angeles LGBT Center (Children

Youth & Family Services)

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

People for Mobility Justice - This organization will teach the bicycle safety classes.

Bikerowave - We will source additional necessary bicycle hardware from this not-for-profit organization.

Cahuenga Branch Library (Los Angeles Public Library) - This library branch will help us find program participants.

Los Angeles LGBT Center (Children, Youth & Family Services) - This center will help us find program participants.

What is the need you’re responding to?

While Los Angeles is widely considered a “city built around cars”, there are many underprivileged groups that have limited access to vehicles or other modes of transportation. For these groups, the bicycle may be their only feasible means of accessing essential resources, including employment, education, health care, and social services. While the bicycle can be a fun, safe, healthy, and accessible form of transportation, many individuals who could benefit from owning a bike cannot afford to buy one and do not know how to maintain or ride one safely on the streets of Los Angeles. If these individuals could have access to bikes and develop maintenance and safe riding skills, it would not only increase their mobility and access to fundamental resources, but also provide them with the empowerment, enjoyment, and health benefits of owning and riding a bike that they know how to repair themselves if needed.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

With a history going back 18 years, the Bicycle Kitchen is one of the oldest and most well-known bicycle cooperatives in Los Angeles and has well-established roots throughout the local community. The Bicycle Kitchen stands at a unique intersection within bicycling culture: we interject our do-it-yourself, co-op spirit into the bicycle community as a whole, and we already serve many underprivileged groups that have limited access to other modes of transportation. The Bicycle Kitchen has successfully implemented aspects of this proposal separately in the past, but we have never integrated them together into a single streamlined program due to lack of funds and adequate staff. With sufficient funding, we can build upon our past successes and use our connections and expertise to scale the impact of our programs to a higher level.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 165

Indirect Impact: 1,650

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Cycling may lead to better, healthier lives and help participants engage more actively with their community. Access to a working bicycle will help expand participants’ mobility and create economic and other opportunities. Bicycling also has a number of health benefits. For instance, cycling commuters have lower rates of cancer and heart disease compared to other types of commuters. Furthermore, cycling has a lower environmental impact than driving, and more cyclists on the road will help mitigate the growing problems related to motorized vehicle traffic throughout Los Angeles. These benefits would have substantial social, economic, and environmental impacts, and pave the way towards a better version of the city we all love and call home.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Each participant that completes this program will be an additional experienced bicycle commuter. They will have gained access to reliable transportation that can be used year-round with minimal expense. We would like to gauge their attitudes and perceptions on a number of bike-related issues in L.A. before and after the program through surveys and testimonials. A sample of our survey is shown here to indicate the metrics we plan to measure.

On a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest):

1. Do you feel that you have reliable access to transportation?

2. Do you feel that you have adequate access to essential resources, including employment, education, health care, and social services?

3. How confident are you on a bike?

4. Do you know how to do basic repairs on a bike (fix a flat, adjust your brakes, etc.)?

5. How likely are you to bike to school/work?

6. How likely are you to attend bicycle-related events throughout Los Angeles (CicLAvia, LA Marathon Crash Ride, Midnight Ridazz, etc.)?

7. How likely are you to ride a bike for exercise?

8. How likely are you to ride a bike for fun/recreation?

9. How likely are you to ride a bike to businesses or institutions within your community?

10. How likely are you to ride a bike instead of using an alternative mode of transportation?

We hope to see improvements across all of these metrics, showcasing the ability of this program to create impacts in terms of economic opportunity, physical health, and community building.

Which of the PLAY metrics will your submission impact?​

Walking and biking


Easy access to a safe park

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?​

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Communications support

Accounting and financial guidance